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    On July 23, 1972, NASA launched Landsat-1, the first Earth-imaging satellite. The ongoing Landsat program offers “the longest continuous global record of the Earth’s surface.”
    Landsat-1 was originally known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite. It carried two imaging instruments. The most powerful instrument was the Multispectral Scanner (MSS). The MSS recorded data in four bands of the electromagnetic spectrum: green, red, and two bands of infrared radiation.
    Today, Landsat-8, the project’s newest satellite, provides data used to record changes in such fields as land use, human population, and cloud cover.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    cloud cover Noun

    amount of sky covered with clouds.

    coast Noun

    edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: coast
    data Plural Noun

    (singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.

    electromagnetic spectrum Noun

    continous band of all kinds of radiation (heat and light).

    forest Noun

    ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.

    glacier Noun

    mass of ice that moves slowly over land.

    Encyclopedic Entry: glacier
    human population Noun

    distinct group of people who share a language, culture, economic status, or physical proximity.

    infrared radiation Noun

    part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths longer than visible light but shorter than microwaves.

    instrument Noun


    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    land use Noun

    range of purposes people put to the earth.

    NASA Noun

    (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) the U.S. space agency, whose mission statement is "To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind."

    provide Verb

    to give or make available.

    satellite Noun

    object that orbits around something else. Satellites can be natural, like moons, or made by people.

    satellite imagery Noun

    photographs of a planet taken by or from a satellite.

    volcano Noun

    an opening in the Earth's crust, through which lava, ash, and gases erupt, and also the cone built by eruptions.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Plate Tectonics and Volcanic Activity
    weather pattern Noun

    repeating or predictable changes in the Earth's atmosphere, such as winds, precipitation, and temperatures.